4:55pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead': Will Andrea Die Trying to Mediate Peace Between Rick and the Governor?
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the Image/Skybound comic series on which AMC's The Walking Dead is based.]
It's been a long time coming, but Rick and the Governor finally will come face to face on Sunday's The Walking Dead.
Following Rick's eye-opening encounter with Morgan during his recent weapons run, the prison's fearless leader will journey to Woodbury, where he'll follow Andrea's lead and attempt to barter a peace treaty between the two communities. But will Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Andrea (Laurie Holden) be able to persuade the Governor (David Morrissey) to take his sights off of Michonne (Danai Gurira), the woman who killed his (zombie) daughter and forced him to don an eye patch?
"She's definitely in a terrible situation," executive producer Robert Kirkman tells The Hollywood Reporter. "She's put between these two groups, but Andrea has gotten out of worse situations before; she's always been proven to be an extremely strong character, and I wouldn't count her out just yet."
After Andrea trekked to the prison to meet with Rick, Carol offered her friend a game plan that would have ended the entire conflict that's been brewing since the Governor ordered Merle to torture Glenn, sexually assaulted Maggie and eventually forced the Dixon brothers to fight to the death in Woodbury's arena. Ultimately, Andrea was unable to follow through and kill the Governor.
"Andrea is going to do everything she can to make sure that people live," Holden tells THR. "Whether it works, I can't tell you, but the gal is going to go down doing the best she could."
Holden recently told THR that Andrea's attempt to bring peace between the two communities was in part her way of honoring Dale (Jeff DeMunn), whose anti-violence stance ultimately cost him his life when he sought to protect Randall. So could Andrea suffer the same fate?
"Andrea is the peacekeeper and we've had those characters before -- and sometimes they die," executive producer Greg Nicotero tells THR. "There was Dale, Hershel, who's still alive, so there's nothing black and white about who takes on that mantle and what happens to them."
In the Image/Skybound comics on which the AMC series is based, Andrea is one of "The Remains" -- a small band of the original core group still standing (the others being Rick, Carl and Michonne) -- and her potential death on the TV adaptation would create a major shift in the storyline. For Kirkman, who created the comics on which the series is based, the fact that Andrea remains an integral part of the monthly series doesn't mean she's safe.
"One of the beauties of the show is that despite having read the comic, you're never going to be able to expect a character to survive or die based on the events in the book," Kirkman says. "We're always changing things up. One of the cool things about the show is anyone can go at any time. It's a tossup as to who we may or may not lose by the end of this season."
Adds exec producer David Alpert: "The best thing about this show is that when you go in to start the season and break the episodes, there are no sacred cows; everybody is on the table, mortality is real. It's never, 'No, we can't kill that person.' If the situation demands it, we'll do something totally different that will shock people. Everybody is on the table in every single episode."
For her part, Holden hopes Milton (Dallas Roberts), the Governor's peace-loving adviser, ultimately comes around after telling the Governor of her run to the prison. "Milton needs to find his wings," she says. "He really believed in the Governor as a leader -- as Andrea did -- and the more he hears and sees, he realizes that it's not something he can be a part of. He's a good man."
Do you think Andrea can broker peace between the communities, or will she die trying? Hit the comments with your thoughts. The Walking Dead airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on AMC.
Check out Rick and the Governor's first meeting, below, and check back to THR's The Live Feed on Sunday after the episode for our weekly episode dissection with Kirkman.